One of the very best gifts that I've received during those years has been to observewhat it means to grow older for many different people.
We all grow older, some people just do a better job of it than others. Aside from having a really good example in my parents about how important it is to take care of yourself, to stay active and keep connected with friends, I've learned so much from the people that I see every day, month in and month out, year after year, who change as we all do with the passage of time but never seem to lose that spark that keeps them learning and interested in life around them.
A friend of mine from the Tai Chi days and who is now a good customer was in to the store today telling me about the trip to the north where she had been with her parents who are pictured here: Don and Katy Lou McLauchlan. Don was an RCMP officer in the north for decades but had spent 3 years in the tiny centre of Aklavik, which was celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The interesting thing is that Don himself is only 2 years younger than the community.
Yes, that's right. Don at 98 and Katy Lou at 92 made the trek to the high north this summer to help celebrate. This would be quite a trip under any circumstances for these folks but it's important to note that Aklavik has no hotel, B&B, restaurants, roads, telephones...nothing of what might make one feel a bit more comfortable in our southern ways.
Read all about the trip and some of Don's recollections here and think about some of the amazing elders that we have among us. I know I feel so priveleged to be surrounded on a daily basis by people of all ages who are such great examples of living and learning.